On Oct. 20, the Canadian working group misplaced a legendary distance working coach with the passing of Hugh Cameron. He was 80.
He’s survived by his spouse of 53 years Nancy, three sons Mark, Rob and Paul and 5 grandchildren.
Born in Lethbridge, Alta., in 1943, Cameron turned a extremely acknowledged and adorned coach, having acted as head coach of the Brooks Marathon Mission, Athletics Toronto Observe Membership and the Etobicoke Huskies within the 80s and 90s earlier than founding the Newmarket Huskies Observe Membership in 2004, which nonetheless stands right now.
All through his almost 50-year teaching profession, Cameron achieved outstanding milestones, corresponding to being named Canadian marathon coach for the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 and the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and for groups concerned in numerous worldwide competitions in Japan, Italy, Venezuela and Germany. He coached all ranges of working, from leisure runners to Olympic athletes, till his last days.
All that mattered to Cameron was their dedication to the coaching required to be the very best athlete they might be. Many referred to him as a mentor and companion and described him as selfless particular person whose legacy is the next normal for teaching in our sport.
A few of Cameron’s notable former athletes are two-time Canadian marathon champion Mike Dyon and his brother, Paul, former nationwide 5,000m champion and athletics coach Dave Reid, former Canadian marathon document holder Silvia Ruegger (who died in 2019), 2020 1,500m Olympian Natalia Allen, four-time NCAA monitor and XC champion Sheila Reid and plenty of extra.
David Edge earned the silver medal for Canada on the 1986 Commonwealth Video games in Edinburgh, working a private finest of two:11:08. He struggles to search out satisfactory phrases to explain the connection he had with Cameron: “I got here from England, and if you have been in a race, you have been in a race to not maintain fingers, however to win,” says Edge, who additionally completed sixth on the 1983 Boston Marathon. “That didn’t go over too nicely in Toronto. I wasn’t essentially the most favored athlete, however Hugh handled it. He guided me. In less complicated phrases, I owe a lot to Hugh Cameron.”
Edge additionally represented Canada on the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, together with Ruegger, who completed eighth within the inaugural girls’s Olympic marathon. Ruegger’s efficiency nonetheless stands as the very best efficiency by a Canadian lady within the Olympic marathon; she went on to set a nationwide marathon document of two:28:36, which stood for 28 years.
Though Ruegger and Edge have been internationally related to Cameron, his first profitable marathoner was Dyon, who, in his debut on the 1977 Nationwide Capital Marathon in Ottawa, emerged victorious with a time of two:18:05. Dyon ultimately received Ottawa thrice, lowered his private finest to 2:14:28 and would end ninth within the 1982 Commonwealth Video games for Canada.
“I used to be actually the guinea pig, as a result of we did a 28-mile run three weeks earlier than Ottawa on hills alongside Weston street,” Dyon remembers. “We didn’t know any higher. He mentioned ‘Let’s simply follow.’ I believe we ran 2:34 or so for the marathon, and he mentioned ‘You might be prepared.’”
Among the many athletes closest to Cameron was Reid, who remembers taking public transit to an Etobicoke Huskies exercise one September night time in 1975. Being a shy 12-year-old. he watched the group from a distance, then obtained on the bus and went dwelling. When his father requested if he would return for the following session, he reluctantly agreed. From there, the pair would forge an unbelievable relationship, strengthened additional when the Cameron household moved into the identical neighbourhood.
Reid would go on to set a Canadian interscholastic 1,500m document of three:45.78 when he was in highschool. Below Cameron’s tutelage, he continued to enhance, representing Canada at three world cross-country championships in addition to the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki. In 1987, Reid set a Canadian senior 1,500m document of three:37.84.
“He was coach of the Canadian group for the 1982 world cross nation championships in Rome once I was a junior,” Reid recounts. “He had gone to each single athlete’s household and requested them to write down letters to the athletes, so they may open them up day-after-day after they have been in Rome. It was so they’d really feel comfy and relaxed. Who does that?”
Reid would spend a lot of time with Cameron’s household, due to their shut proximity. And when Reid hung up his racing sneakers, he obtained his begin in teaching, alongside Cameron.
A service to commemorate Cameron’s life might be held on Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. at Northwest Barrie United Church, in Barrie, Ont. In lieu of flowers, the household requests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Society or a corporation near your coronary heart in Cameron’s honour. You may donate right here.
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With thanks for added reporting by Paul Positive factors